Sunday, February 04, 2007

Why President Bush is so against Iran

The US bipartisan Iraq Study Group, co-chaired by Democrat Lee Hamilton and Republican James Baker, had advised the president to ‘engage’ with Iran and Syria, meaning that diplomatic talks are far superior than military action and certainly kill less US soldiers.

James Baker is President Bush’s ‘uncle James’, the former US Secretary of State under Bush Senior and the man who represented Bush Junior in his dodgy 2000 US presidential election in Florida.

Virtually every sensible politician in the US and Europe has urged the President to talk with Iran, but Bush Junior has steadfastly refused.

Now, three former US generals have added their voices to the camp for talks with Iran, and advised against military adventures against the Persians.

They are army lieutenant general Robert Gard, a former military assistant to US defence secretary, Robert McNamara, US Marine Corps general Joseph Hoar, a former commander-in-chief of US Central Command and Navy vice-admiral Jack Shanahan, a former director of the Centre for Defence Information.

Bet you President Bush will ignore them as he had the others, because his administration has recently increased the frequency and vehemence of its verbal attacks on Iran. Many in the US are worried that the gungho moronic president could be preparing for a military strike against Iran. Certain members of his advisors would undoubtedly be egging him on.

To lend substance to this fear of Bush widening the conflict in Gulf, the US has despatched a second aircraft carrier to the Gulf. Many believe it may be a warning to Iran, but it could well be preparatory positioning for pre-emptive strikes against Iranian nuclear power plants, supply routes and other high value targets.

The three retired generals said:
"There is time available to talk, we must ensure that we use it. The current crisis must be resolved through diplomacy."

“Attacking Iran would have disastrous consequences for security in the region, coalition forces in Iraq and would further exacerbate regional and global tensions.”

The unfortunate reality is that Bush has sold his soul to the war-with-Iran camp. I’ll give you one guess as to who is paranoid about wanting Iran bombed, attacked and crippled (as Iraq was), even if that kills thousands of US soldiers and increases the danger to US citizens.

The Christian Science Monitor reported that Zbulun Orlev of Israel's right-wing National Religious Party condemned the Iraq Study Group report as ‘unfriendly’ to Israel, particularly in its advocacy for engaging Iran, and then most brazenly, lambasting the Study Group for having the nerve to call for a ‘land for peace’ approach to the Israeli encroachment into Palestinian territories.

Orlev sure as hell didn’t like the idea of anyone, least of all the US, considering land for the Palestinians (that were seized/stolen by the Israelis in the first place).

He condemned particularly James Baker, who as US Secretary of State, had vigorously developed policies on a peace deal with the Palestinians.

Orlov said:
"We thought after six years of Bush [the junior one], the policies which Baker represents had died."

Incidentally, as an aside, the senior President Bush, with a popularity rating of around 90% after the 1st Gulf War, strangely lost his second term re-election. Why?

... because in pushing for a peace settlement with the Palestinians, Bush Senior daringly prohibited Israel to build any settlement on the West Bank on pain of being denied US aid. That lost him the support of pro-Israeli voters including the powerful Christian Right.

Israeli PM Ehud Olmert was more confident. He declared the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group, which called for direct talks between Israel and its neighbours, Syria, Lebanon and the Palestinians and the resolution of the Israeli-Arab conflict, does not necessarily reflect Bush administration policy.

He's right on two counts - (1) Bush takes his advice from his Zionist advisors and the Israeli lobby - and (2) Israel has no interest in any peace deal with the Palestinians, and President Bush automatically supports whatever Israel wants.

Olmert or any Israeli PM doesn't want any peace deal that brings recognition and establishment of a Palestinian State. That has been the feet-dragging tactic of Israel for donkey years. Establishment of a sovereign Palestine threatens the legitimacy of an Israeli nation built on Palestinian land.

So long as Bush and his fundamentalist Christian beliefs shackled him to a pro-Hebraic policy* in the Middle-East , more US soldiers will die among the sands of the Middle East.

* even at this stage, Bush still agrees to supply Israel with more cluster bombs after Shimon Peres, deputy PM of Israeli had admitted the sowing of 1 million bomblets in southern Lebanon was a humongous mistake.

Since the end of the war, those bomblets have killed more than 24 Lebanese civilians and injured at least 100 others. Only 19,000 of the 1 million bombs have been recovered.

The Israeli inhumane act must be considered one of the world's modern day war crimes. Tun Dr Mahathir, please take note for your war crimes tribunal!


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  2. George Bush and Ehud Olmert must be brought before Tun Dr Mahathir's War Crimes Tribunal and tried for every crime against humanity that both of them have committed. If they are found guilty, they deserve the maximum sentence to war the rest of the international community that war is immoral.

  3. Johnleemk, would you tell us what "maximum sentence" do you prefer for George Bush and Ehud Olmert? Is it death penalty via public execution like that of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein?

  4. C'mon guys, let's be rational - trialling blokes like Bush would only assume a symbolic case. There's no way we or for that matter, anyone can touch a US president - the Americans will never allow the indignity.

    Liekwise for the Israeli PM - the West is still so guilty-conscious about the Holocaust that they couldn't and wouldn't condone the trialling of a Jew, even if he's an Israeli.

    But symbolically trialling them and exposing their "crimes' would be a good step.

    It also alerts Americans and Israelis to how the world see them - this is especially important for the Americans as they are bloody naive about what their wonderful USA has been doing to the rest of the world.

  5. Actually, GWB Jr should not have to worry about Iran, if what this guy wrote in IHT is true:

    Iran actually is short of oil
    Muddled mullahs
    Roger Stern Published: January 8, 2007
    (International Herald Tribune)

    BALTIMORE: Iran has ensnared itself in a petroleum crisis that could drive its oil exports to zero by 2015. While Iran has the third- largest oil reserves in the world, its exports may be shrinking by 10 to 12 percent per year. How can this be happening?

    Heavy industry infrastructure must be maintained to remain productive. This is especially so for oil, because each oil well's output declines slightly every year. If new wells are not drilled to offset natural decline, production will fall.

    This is what is happening in Iran, which has failed to reinvest in new production. Why?

    For the mullahs, the short-run political return on investment in oil production is zero. They are reluctant to wait the 4 to 6 years it takes for a drilling investment to yield revenue. So rather than reinvest to refresh production, the Islamic Republic starves its petroleum sector, diverting oil profits to a vast, inefficient welfare state.

    Employment in the loss-making state-supported firms of this welfare state is essential to the regime's political survival.

    Another threat to exports is the growth in domestic demand. Iranian oil demand is not just growing, it's exploding, driven by a subsidized gasoline price of about 9 cents a liter. This has created a 6 percent growth in demand, the highest in the world.

    So Iran burns its candle at both ends, producing less and less while consuming more and more.

    Absent some change in Iranian policy, a rapid decline in exports seems likely. Policy gridlock and a Soviet-style command economy make practical problem-solving almost impossible.

    The regime could help itself by making it easier for foreign firms to invest in new production. Remarkably, it has not done this even though the decline in exports, which provide more than 70 percent of state revenue, directly threatens its survival.

    While signs of a petroleum crisis in Iran, are numerous, neither the Bush administration nor its critics have recognized them.

    Even Iran's nuclear power program, dismissed by the U.S. administration as a foil for weapons development, is a symptom of petro-collapse.

    The U.S. administration claims that a state as petroleum-rich as Iran cannot need nuclear power to meet its energy needs. Yet while Iran is guilty of deception about its nuclear program, it should not be inferred that all Iranian claims are false. Iran may need nuclear power as badly as it claims.

    Most Iranian electric power generation is by oil or gas. Cheaper power from Iran's new Russian reactor will leave more oil for export. Rebuilding Iran's aging gas-powered generators may not be much cheaper than building a new nuclear reactor. But Russia sells reactors to Iran on the cheap in an indirect subsidy to the regime.

    Investment in Iran has become so unattractive that even energy-desperate states have quit trying. Japan's Inpex, for example, just abandoned a seven- year negotiation for the Azadegan field. Had Iran been a better negotiating partner, Azadegan oil would be flowing today.

    Refinery leakage exemplifies all that is wrong with the Iranian petroleum sector. According to the state-run Iran Daily, leaks account for 6 percent of total production, yet go unattended.

    This colossal revenue loss persists due to the Soviet-style logic of Iran's state-planned economy. Subsidized energy prices force the state oil firm to sell at a loss to the domestic market. Therefore, while Iran could gain billions by fixing the leaks, the state oil firm would be worse off because the maintenance would generate no new revenue. Thus oil and money simply seep into the ground.

    For a world rattled by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's bellicosity, Iran's petroleum problems sound like good news. The UN Security Council's newfound willingness to confront Iran over weapons development also seems a welcome sign.

    Yet the economic damage Iran inflicts on itself is far worse than anything the meaningless UN sanctions could accomplish. Sanctions might actually worsen the position of Iran's adversaries if Tehran were to succeed in portraying them as the cause of its economic woes.

    The mullahs are doing a good job of destroying Iran's economy. They should be left alone to complete their work. Attacking Iran would allow the regime to escape responsibility for the economic disaster it created. Worse, an attack could unite Iran behind the clerical terror-sponsors whose grasp on power may be slipping. For these reasons, the best policy towards Iran may be to do nothing at all.

    Roger Stern is an economic geographer and national security analyst in the Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. This column is adapted from his recent article, "The Iranian petroleum crisis and United States national security," published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

  6. mich

    Maybe someone ought to tell the Israelis who have been/are the driving force behind Bush's mad intent to pulverise the Iranians. The Israelis are sick scared of the Persians.

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  8. yet again, impostor. A comment made by me would have an avatar of me.

  9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  10. The "__earth" above is an imposter. All comments made by me do not have an avatar of me.

  11. I know Mohd Hafiz Noor Shams personally and never posts with an avatar. I recommend that the moderator of this blog, delete the comments by every __earth who has an avatar but allow all those comments made by __earth without an avatar.

    Besides, the real Mohd Hafiz Noor Shams whose nick name is __earth is neither libertarian, green, nor humanist. He is a staunch Islamist who wishes that Malaysia is ruled by Sharia.